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Political Scientists Ray LaRaja and Brian Scaffner Say Laws that Weaken Political Parties Help Cause Polarization (July 22, 2014, 01:26 AM)

Ray LaRaja and Brian Scaffner, political science professors at the University of Massachusetts, here argue that strong political parties reduce polarization. They also conclude that federal campaign finance laws, especially the McCain-Feingold law which still hobbles political parties, are partly to blame for weakening parties, and therefore increasing polarization. Thanks to several people for the


Curtis Gans Says 2014 Likely to Have Lowest Midterm Primary Turnout in History (July 22, 2014, 01:15 AM)

Curtis Gans, an expert on the statistics of voter turnout, says in this article that 2014 seems likely to have the lowest primary voter turnout for any midterm year in U.S. history. Thanks to Thomas Jones for the link.

Ed Rabel, Independent U.S. House Candidate in West Virginia, Certified for the November Ballot (July 22, 2014, 12:48 AM)

Ed Rabel, a prominent journalist for several decades, has been certified for a place on the November 2014 West Virginia ballot. He is running for U.S. House in an open seat. See this story.

New Mexico Files Brief in Ballot Access Case that Challenges 3% Petition Requirement (July 21, 2014, 09:41 PM)

On July 21, attorneys for the New Mexico Secretary of State filed this 15-page brief in Parker v Duran, 1:14cv-617. This is the federal lawsuit over the state’s 3% petition requirement for independent candidates. The plaintiff, an incumbent member of the State Public Education Commission, wants to run for re-election this year as an independent


President Obama Endorsed Statehood for the District of Columbia (July 21, 2014, 07:42 PM)

On July 21, President Obama endorsed statehood for the District of Columbia. See this story. Thanks to PoliticalWire for the link.

Oklahoma Gubernatorial Poll (July 21, 2014, 01:53 PM)

On July 18, Rasmussen Reports released this poll for the Oklahoma gubernatorial election. Even though respondents were asked, “If the 2014 election for Governor of Oklahoma was held today, would you vote for Republican Mary Fallin or Democrat Joe Dorman?”, 7% of respondents volunteered “someone else.” The poll results are: Fallin 45%, Dorman 40%, “someone


Former Top Aide to Governor Arnold Schwarznegger Admits Top-Two Injures Independent Candidates (July 21, 2014, 01:32 PM)

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was the leading proponent of California’s top-two ballot measures, both in 2004 (when the proposal lost) and in June 2010 (when it won). The July 20 Sacramento Bee has this discussion with Rob Stutzman, who was the Governor’s chief of staff for communications and who still supports top-two systems. In the


Republican Candidate for Governor of Oregon Wins Independent Party Nomination (July 21, 2014, 01:07 PM)

On July 21, the Independent Party of Oregon released the results of its primary for this year’s nominations. For Governor, Independent Party members were asked to choose between Democratic incumbent John Kitzhaber, and Republican nominee Dennis Richardson. Richardson prevailed, by a vote of 677 to 413. There were 50 ballots cast in which the office


Siena Poll for New York Gubernatorial Race Shows Howie Hawkins, Green Party Nominee, at 11% in Upstate New York (July 21, 2014, 12:57 PM)

On July 21, Sienna College Research Institute released a poll for the New York gubernatorial race, and other statewide races. For Governor, the poll separates respondents by many variables, including region. The poll shows that Howie Hawkins, the Green Party nominee, is receiving 11% in upstate New York, but 2% in New York city and


Illinois Green Party Will Ask to be Put on Ballot at July 22 Hearing in U.S. District Court (July 21, 2014, 12:33 PM)

On July 22, the Illinois Green Party will ask a federal judge to put its statewide slate of candidates on the November 2014 ballot. The case is Summers v Smart, 1:14-cv-5398, northern district. The party argues that the combination of these election laws, taken together, are unconstitutional: (1) the restriction on getting signatures before March


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